Reid calls out Romney on their shared Mormon faith
September 25th, 2012
05:25 PM ET

Reid calls out Romney on their shared Mormon faith

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The nation's highest ranking Mormon in elected office said Monday that Republican presidential candidate  is “not the face of Mormonism.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made the remarks in a conference call Monday, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

“He’s coming to a state where there are a lot of members of the LDS Church,” Reid said about Romney coming to Nevada. “They understand that he is not the face of Mormonism.”

The 2012 election has seen Reid increasingly critical of the Republican hopeful. Reid has used his office to challenge Romney on issues ranging from taxes to foreign policy.

This, however, is the first time that Reid has attacked Romney based on their shared faith.

During the conference call, Reid reportedly mentioned an opinion piece run in the Huffington Post by Gregory A. Prince, co-author of “David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism.” In the piece, Prince argued that Romney has run away from his faith and does not represent the modern Mormon Church.

“Judge Mitt Romney as you will, and vote for or against him as you will; but do not judge Mormonism on the basis of the Mitt Romney that was unveiled to the public this week,” Prince wrote. “He is not the face of Mormonism.”

At last month's Republican National Convention, other Mormons who interacted with Romney while at church vouched for the Republican candidate. Ted and Pat Oparowski, a Mormon couple who knew Romney in Massachusetts told stories of him regularly visiting their son after he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and eulogized him after the child died.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Romney supporter and fellow Mormon, said Reid’s words were out of bounds, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

“Harry Reid seems to be making this way too personal and consequently throwing the religion under the bus for his own personal gain,” said Chaffetz. “That’s not where anyone should be going with this. He’s taking this two steps too far.”

Reid was raised agnostic in Searchlight, Nevada, and converted to Mormonism, along with his wife Landra, while attending Southern Utah University. In an interview with the New Yorker in 2005, he heralded the faith for its emphasis on family.

The LDS Church has largely tried to stay out of the politics surrounding the presidential campaign, even though they have received increased attention due to Romney’s candidacy.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (662 Responses)
  1. some chick

    Romney is the worst example of a Mormon.
    I have been Mormon for 55 years, never met ANYONE like romney. Never met anyone like him of any religon. He is
    the opposite character of Christ.
    Romney needs to ask forgiveness and repent...horrible liar and cheat.

    October 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  2. Jay

    As if anybody needed further proof for how dumb Harry Reid is.. he actually converted TO mormonism. I understand people growing up in the faith, but only fools buy into that religion when they're apparently educated adults.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  3. Werner Poegel

    Good men of any religion can have ideological differences and it's very healthy. I disagree with some positions of President Obama and some positions of Mitt Romney, holding them in high esteem for being willing to serve.and for exhibiting lifetimes of good character. Let's judge both on their qualifications for the job and policy positions. Take the same set of facts and you'll get a myriad of different conclusions from different people. Even though I am Catholic, I would have no problem if President Obama was Muslim because I recognize that each different religion on this planet is a gift from God, offering a unique path to the same place by reaching each wonderful culture in God's chosen way.

    October 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Brad

      Romney only serves himself.

      October 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Verner Berner

      Werner, so how come your god came up with religions that disagree with each other, resulting in so much violence and death. Sounds like your god is quite the jerk.

      Verner Berner here for you. Next time your stupid brain needs some wisdom, Werner, just ask Verner.

      October 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  4. HZ

    Regarding this part of the article: “Harry Reid seems to be making this way too personal and consequently throwing the religion under the bus for his own personal gain,” said Chaffetz.

    FUNNY how the same people who have no problem making personal attacks against President Obama are crying about how unfair it is when it's done to them!!!! Remember all the claims that the President was a muslim? I have heard conservatives call him 'evil' and 'anti-american' also. This county needs less personal attacks and more working together.

    October 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  5. GF

    Harry Reid is a wicked man. Too bad I am in the same church as he is. His Stake president should have a serious conversation with him.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Brad

      If Harry Reid is a wicked man, then Romney must be Satan incarnate.

      October 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  6. Cruddy

    I guess he flops about his religion as well. Can he take a solid stance on something instead of being a video game shape changer?

    September 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  7. John Geheran

    CNN .......how about some real news? Why the silence on Obama's UN swipe at freedom of expression? Why is "slandering the prophet" any different than the slandering of "infidels" that is firmly and repeated embedded in Islamic sacred texts and ahadith? Is Obama suggesting that the Qur'an be banned for "defamation of religions"? Think about it.

    September 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  8. hippypoet

    belief itself isn't a bad thing. i can say that honestly and believe those words. any belief that makes one want to be a better person is a grand belief to be sure! however, the belief in something unpovable full heartedly is what i find to be disconcerting. the real issue with religion is when those that believe full heartedly run a country or when the majority of the cizitens are religious. For as we all know, the majority make the rule. wether it be thru having more votes or greater numbers in your army the idea is the same, strength in numbers! But when this is the case what you get is oppession.

    any religiously ran government is an oppressive one. All religions state what people should, should not, can, and can not do and even at times religions state when one should do these things. it is in its most basic function a form of social control that warps the mind of the creature being controlled so that the end result is a person who willin
    gly acts in accordance to that very same oppressive government thereby making the government appear to be not controlling at all.

    it is a very nice trick, but aren't tricks for children?
    should we not grow up?
    are dreams really worth giving reality up?
    how is a hope greater then knowledge?
    why aren't other things taken at face value with the same "faith"?
    if anything then at least shouldn't the tenets of your faith be adhered to and be upheld?
    should you stone your own children because they were dissrespectful to you?
    should you kill those of differing cultures or beliefs because they have differing cultures and beliefs?
    would you allow those that survive YOUR jihad to be enslaved and turned into property?
    should women be viewed as property and treated as such?
    how many commandments do you follow and how many do you think there are?
    shouldn't the followers of the abrahamic faith know the answers to these questions?
    was hope greater then knowledge?
    did the dream live up to its reality?

    food for thought.

    September 27, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      The state itself isn't a bad thing. I can say that honestly and believe those words. Any law that improves society is a grand thing to be sure! however, the belief that man can legislate a sustainable society with a government untempered by religious freedom is what I find to be disconcerting. The real issue with the state is when those solely invested in political power run a country or when the majority of the citizens are anti-religious. For as we all know, the majority make the rule, whether it be thru having more votes or greater numbers in your army the idea is the same, strength in numbers! But when this is the case what you get is oppression. This is why religion must be allowed to flourish unfettered yet separate from political power.

      Any government is an oppressive one without a counterbalancing philosophy in the land. All governments control what people should, should not, can, and can not do and even at times control when one should do these things. It is in its most basic function a form of social control that restricts freedom of the creature being governed so that the end result is a person who willingly acts in accordance to that very same oppressive government thereby making the government appear to be not controlling at all.

      it is not a very nice trick. It is despotism.
      should we not grow up and acknowledge that religious convictions delineate the very path to personal freedom envisioned by the founders?

      Is the dream of a government with no submission to Divine authority really worth the exposure to malfeasance by man?
      How is a hope greater then knowledge? The answer is that knowledge tells us where we are. Hope tells us where we may go.

      Why aren't other things taken at face value with the same "faith"? The answer is apparently they are as some would place their faith in a government without regard to the freedom of men which comes from God, not from king or congress.

      The original post now deviates from a discussion on civics to one on theology, wherein the original author displays simplistic scenarios and reduces religious tenets to ridiculous extremes. This response corrects only hippy's misunderstanding of civics and does not attempt o address his religious ignorance. That would be forcing my religion down his throat and I believe we all should have the freedom to maintain our preferred ignorance

      food for thought.

      September 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Just a John

      @Bill D.
      There you go again "and reduces religious tenets to ridiculous extremes" are from your oh so arrogant christian point of view only. Try thinking beyond your own collection plate, many of hippypoet's statements are not at all extreme when applied to all religions. Is religion a force for good in the world? Anyone can see the answer is a resounding NO. How is your cash flow doing, are the sheepies maintaining you in the lifestyle you desire?

      September 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • billdeacons

      While I'm certain you have anecdotal evidence of religious atrocities over the centuries (we've all seen the same ones) There is no way you can comprehensively say that religion has been bad for civilization. It just ain't so. While I may seem arrogant to you, I simply chose not to respond to the inane comments hippy left as challenges to believers and focused primarily on his government philosophy. While it is accurate to say that strict theological governments are subject to abuse, it is every bit as accurate to say that states run without benefit of religious instiitutions are as bad or worse.

      Your anti religious bias clouds your ability to discuss the matter rationally and you are reduced to insulting me. But the truth is you don't know what the hell you are talking about.

      September 28, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  9. donner

    While Mutt was wooing America's trailer parks in GOP primaries, he never mentioned the Mormon church. Why? Because Southern evangelicals think Mormons are cult members. In the same primaries, Mutt never mentioned Massachusetts health care laws he passed. Now that he is losing, he talks about it like he invented doctors. This guy is the most two faced POS to ever walk the earth. Time to invade Utah and restore democracy.

    September 27, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Ubetcha

      Americans are Fed up with all of the HATEFUL LIES from you.Libpigs! Exactly why your losing in November!

      September 27, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Lawless4U

      It is "you're".

      September 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Bob

      @Ubetcha: The Democrats haven't actually said much during the campaign yet; the Republicans, on the other hand, not only have lied but have repeated them when caught in them. But I guess your rant is to be expected from someone channelling that loser & quitter, Sarah Palin.

      October 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Brad

      @Ubetcha: No, America is sick of mindless idiots who vote Repuglican – against their own best interests and the best interests of the country! But, I could be wrong.. maybe you're a millionaire..??

      October 23, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  10. Ray E. (Georgia)

    This is of course a sign of desperation by Harry Reid. Harry Reid will probably be History as far as Senate Majority is concerned after next election.

    September 27, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      We've lost better, many much better.

      September 27, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Ubetcha


      September 27, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • dawn walsh

      One can only hope that hypocrite will be gone. I guess he's face of Mormon, a liar and a coward.

      September 28, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • Brad

      It's not a sign of "desperation". It's disgust!!!!
      You people make me SICK! Is 1/2 the country suddenly millionaires???
      Do you people actually enjoy being serfs to the elite??? W T F is wrong with you people??!!

      October 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  11. clarke

    I don't know if he is or he isn't, I only know he gives the church a lot of money.

    September 27, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  12. thomas

    It is strange that the Mormon Church never excommunicated Reid for his behavior involving under age boys in Nevada.

    September 27, 2012 at 6:38 am |
    • News to you

      LDS spokesperson Efrey Guzman has stated the Church is not certain that the werewolf cubs actually are children.

      September 27, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • midwest rail

      thomas – of course, you can supply links to confirmed, reputable sources regarding your allegations. Right ?

      September 27, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • IrishPint

      @midwest – kind of like all those reputable confirmed sources and links that Reid provided when accusing Romney of not paying taxes for 10+ years? #hypocrisy

      September 27, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • midwest rail

      Your logic is flawed. A man should be subjected to the ugliest smear imaginable in retaliation for political gamesmanship ? Good to know where you stand. ( eye roll )

      September 27, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 27, 2012 at 5:37 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 27, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs^!

      September 27, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  14. Rex Whitmer

    It would appear that Brother Reid has some problems with veracity? Perhaps it's jealousy? Lets talk about that property you sold three times without ever buying it back. Let's talk about your fuzzy memory. We could talk about a jillion things Harry and none of them would make you any less of a liar. Romney's not going to say anything to you about your lies, but you know that in the end you will have to face one much more important than Romney. What will your statement be then? Forgive me, I'm a sinner? I sort of think that it'll to be a bit more than that. Love Ya....

    September 27, 2012 at 3:13 am |
    • Mitt Romney

      Hi! I'm Mitt Romney, and I'm . . . okay, I'm going to take serious prison sex in the election, and everyone knows it. Even I know it. I have to stump around for six more weeks for no good reason at all. What a waste of time and money!

      I don't know why you all prefer a negro monkey president to me. I avoided the whole "magic undies" question, so you should have forgotten about it (and the darn things aren't working! They are supposed to protect me!). I say really stupid things – that shouldn't matter. I chose a kook as a running mate to try to get the extremist votes that I already had, but hey, why would anyone want to appeal to the moderates and undecideds?

      Guess I'll go back to that Great American Passtime of corporate takeovers where I hack them up and send the jobs to China. It's the American way.

      September 27, 2012 at 4:00 am |
  15. joshua

    hey im an exmormon. let the mormons fight each other! hahahaha this is hilarious. bunch of brainwashed mormons. resistance is futile you will all be assymilated into the morg becareful.....

    September 26, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  16. Reality

    Only for new members of this blof ---–>>>>


    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As do M. Romney and H. Reid)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney and H. Reid also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does Obama and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan and their families )

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    September 26, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Have you ever tried Phazyme for your excessive gas, Reality?

      September 26, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son


      Stick a cork in it, fartalicious!

      September 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Reality


      Some added references to "tink-erbells".


      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."

      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      For added information see the review at:


      September 27, 2012 at 7:01 am |
  17. religion source of religionfilthybrainwashism

    Anything (Mormonism) based on a religion (Christianity) that was written down decades after any eye-witness accounts actually occurred, which itself (Christianity) was based on a religion (Judaism) that was made up and written down over thousands of years which itself (Judaism) was based on oral tradition passed down over many, many generations, which itself (Judaism) ripped off of any number of pre-existing religions from neighboring regions (Greece, Persia, Egypt) can be nothing but total GARBAGE! Read something else besides your monomaniacal, one-sided religious text (whatever religion it may be) and you might have a chance at discovering something closer to TRUTH in your lifetime!

    September 26, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  18. Chad

    God is most evident in the least of his creations. I've been using ants to point out God's word in the Bible. Sometimes they select important verses. Other times they actually line up and spell out things that God wants me to know. I ask you atheists, how many times the age of the universe would it take for ants walking at random to do what I see them do in the space of a few hours?

    September 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Dasher

      Ants? Your proof is ants? Are you sure you weren't just watching the movie Antz?

      September 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • The least of God's creatires would be botulism or a cancer cell

      "Ants actually line up and spell out things that God wants me to know"

      I am guessing this is a Poe and not the real Chad. Even Chad cannot be in such a state of hallucinatory dissociation as to believe he actually saw ants line up to write things God wanted him to know.

      If it is the real Chad . . . WOW ! ! ! !

      September 26, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • God. Yes, THE God.

      Actually, I do communicate with Chad using ants. I write out things like "Elementary penguin singing Hare Krishna
      Man you should have seen them kicking Edgar Alan Poe", and I watch Chad spend weeks trying to figure out the divine implications of it.

      Then I gave him the thought that I speak to him in dog farts, but he has to get really close to hear it.

      Then I go make a cockroach like like the Virgin (yeah right) Mary, and make sure that someone like Chad finds it.

      It's really a lot of fun being God.

      September 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • clgmm74

      @ GYTG

      Which person do you think your comments degrade?

      September 27, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • max3333444555

      I didnt want to tell you but i coopted your ants and the messages you see are a joke ive been playing.

      September 27, 2012 at 2:54 am |
    • serialmom

      Chad, Chad, you must have accidentally watched the Rammstein video, "Links 2,3,4." Duh, it is animation.

      September 27, 2012 at 8:44 am |
  19. Dennis

    Chad why do you think that is?

    September 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  20. Chad

    Why exactly do the majority of atheists align with democrats?


    September 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Glenda

      Chad, one reason I'll postulate is that atheists are overall more supportive of social programs and of helping others than conservative Christians are, hence more of a D leaning for the atheists.

      Christians, as one religious example, just tend to talk the talk but not walk the walk of that to the same degree, without strings attached. I'm not saying all are like that, just the overall stats. Christians usually aren't helping anyone unless there are religious strings and preaching attached.

      I think also Christians tend to be conservative and outmoded/stuck in the past, again not all, but a lot of cases. They also tend to be very sexually inhibited and otherwise inhibited, so you won't see them, especially the fundie types, voting D overall.

      September 26, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Dennis

      Chad, why do you think that is the case?

      September 26, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Dismantling Democracy since 1960

      Someone has to do your thinking for you Chad.

      September 26, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think it is because they are not that far evolved from ants

      September 27, 2012 at 9:12 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.